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Mental Health Studies MSc/PgDip / Healthcare Studies PGCert

Learn about the course below
October 2020
2 years part-time
£57 per credit (UK/EU) *
£108 per credit (INT) *
Course leader
Alfonso Pezzella

We’re planning to teach through a flexible combination of online and face to face learning for the first few months of the new academic year. If you’re thinking about starting with us in autumn 2020 or spring 2021, check back for more detail on arrangements for this course in July and August, and see our current plans for teaching and learning.

This flexible and unique programme is designed to allow practitioners who work in mental health services to build upon previous knowledge and experience in the field. It aims to enhance this prior knowledge and experience to facilitate your development and mastery in mental health-related skills and knowledge. It is anticipated that completing this MSc will enable you to contribute to the enhancement of professional mental health practice, research and service development.

Why study MSc/PgDip Mental Health Studies/PGCert Healthcare Studies at Middlesex?

You will be given the opportunity to study with others from a wide range of mental health settings and backgrounds, both nationally and internationally. It is hoped that the diversity of this learning environment stimulates enhanced learning of mental health issues, leading to improved practice and service development.

This MSc will allow you to plan your own individual study pathway to meet your personal, professional, academic and service needs. Furthermore, the optional modules can be taken at a pace and frequency that suits your circumstances, taking into account issues such as your location and work-life balance. As such, a number of modules are available via distance learning.

The best way to undertake this programme is over a minimum of two years. This will enable you to continue working in clinical practice and use that practice to help you complete the assignments on the course. You will complete the programme by choosing from a selection of modules that are available in the department. Please note that although we have an October start, dependent upon your choice of modules, it may be that your first class dates for your first modules may have a January start. This will be discussed with you when you start on the programme and choose the modules you wish to undertake.

In order to complete the programme applicants must be working in mental health or mental health related caring services with direct access to service users. They must be working with mental health service users during the course of their studies. This is so that assessments on the programme can be completed. EU and International students will need to provide evidence in their application that they have arranged such access before their application can be processed.

Overall, the programme is designed so that, where possible, credits achieved through prior study are recognised as part of the award.

Please note: This course does not lead to registration as a mental health nurse or other mental health practitioner. Applicants wishing to undertake a professional nursing programme, please visit our Nursing pages.

Course highlights

  • The university is highly rated by our students for our student support, which particularly helps those with non-traditional qualifications reach their potential
  • Your studies are supported by brand new state-of-the-art facilities, including a well-resourced library and access to a wide range of mental health-related e-books and journals
  • We have established relationships with London's leading mental health trusts
  • You will have the opportunity to network with a wide range of clinicians from a variety of backgrounds, both nationally and internationally
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module.

Find out more

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What will you study on the MSc/PgDip Mental Health Studies/PGCert Healthcare Studies?

Applicants undertaking this route will need to complete 180 credits. This will be made up of two core modules, which will make up 90 credits and the remaining credits will be made up of optional modules which can be found in the list below. The list is not exhaustive and you may choose other modules from any School within the University if they complement your programme of mental health studies or professional practice.

Applicants who have undertaken prior learning for which they have gained academic credit, may be able to use these credits towards the final award of masters.

If you do not wish to study the full MSc, you can complete a PGCert (60 credits) where you choose a combination of available Optional Modules.

If you do not wish to study the full MSc, you can complete a PGDip (120 credits) where you study one core module and the remaining 90 credits are chosen from the Optional Modules.

  • Choose one of the following:

    • Social Research Methods (30 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to enable you to develop your research methods skills. This will give you 30 academic credits.

    • Advanced Practitioner Enquiry (30 Credits) - Compulsory
  • Plus one of the following:

    • Dissertation (60 Credits) - Compulsory
    • Work based learning project module (60 Credits) - Compulsory
  • Plus optional modules from the list below - to make up 90 credits (list subject to change):

    • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (15 credits) - Optional
    • Risk Assessment and Management in Mental Health (15 credits) - Optional
    • Social Inclusion and Recovery in Mental Health (15 credits) - Optional
    • Meeting the needs of people with dementia and their carers (15 credits) - Optional
    • Delivering Evidence Based Dementia Care (15 credits) - Optional
    • Concordance Skills (15 credits) - Optional
    • Improving well-being: increasing personal resilience and helping people change (15 credits) - Optional
    • Leadership for Public and Community Services (15 credits) - Optional
    • Service Development and Quality Improvement (15 credits) - Optional
    • Physical Care Skills for Mental Health Professionals (15 credits) - Optional
    • Mentorship Preparation (15 credits) - Optional

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Module and programme information is indicative and may be subject to change.

How is the MSc/PgDip Mental Health Studies/PGCert Healthcare Studies taught?

You will work on practical assignments as well as attending lectures, workshops and seminars, where you will take part in class discussions and give presentations. You will work on problem-solving exercises, case studies, role-play exercises and group exercises, and supplement all this with your own independent study, including online learning. You will submit a research proposal and dissertation or work-based project, for which you will receive one-to-one tuition.


As well as exams, practical assessments and your dissertation or project, you may be assessed through a variety of means: reports, critical reflections on practice, service reviews, literature reviews, critical reviews of evidence, reflective journals, study skills workshops, case studies, online quizzes, presentations and class discussions. These will depend on the modules you take. You will receive regular feedback on your work, both from your tutors and other students.

  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Additional costs
  4. Scholarships and bursaries

How can the MSc/PgDip Mental Health Studies/PGCert Healthcare Studies support your career?

This programme is aimed at practitioners who have experience of working in a mental health setting. It provides an excellent opportunity for them to use their existing expertise, professional qualifications or work experience to gain a recognised qualification.

The Programme has been specifically designed to further your career within the industry through enhancing existing professional practice through personal development and self-managed learning, as well as consolidating and expanding your professional network. You will have the opportunity to gain a qualification that is directly relevant to your field of work and the projects you complete will also make a significant contribution to the achievement of your work objectives. Combined, these benefits provide a powerful stimulus to career development and enhancement in your professional area.

Alfonso Pezzella
Programme Leader

Alfonso Pezzella is the course leader for MSc Mental Health Studies. Alfonso teaches on a variety of topics including research methods, SPSS, mental health, LGBT issues and transcultural issues in health. Alfonso is currently working on a European project (IENE 5) led by Professor Irena Papadopoulos (Middlesex University) and five other European countries, which aims to develop a MOOC in Intercultural Communication Skills and Patient Safety. He is also working on various research projects on LGBT inclusion in the curriculum in health and social care and LGBT and mental health.

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Code: PGC84S

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